Roasted Honeynut Squash
This oven-roasted honeynut squash recipe is incredibly easy to make, seasoned with savory ingredients like thyme, rosemary, garlic, and parmesan. It’s the perfect warm, cozy, and nourishing veggie side dish!
Friends, I always get SO excited when I see these cute honeynut squashes at my local grocery store. It’s such a short time that they’re in season, I urge you to grab a bunch if you see them. They disappear fast!
I see a lot of honeynut squash recipes calling for maple syrup online, but I wanted to switch things up and do a SAVORY option to pair with the already sweet flavours of the squash. Personally, I preferred it to the sweeter versions 😉
Unlike their bigger (and more well-known) cousin butternut, honeynut squash is much easier to prepare. You basically cut these little guys in half, add some seasoning, and throw them in the oven. No need to spend time peeling or chopping this squash!
Want more dietitian-designed winter squash recipes? This cheesy sautéed butternut squash, this maple roasted delicata squash, or this roasted butternut squash with kale and coconut cream are some of my all-time favourite squash side dishes!
What is honeynut squash? How is it different to butternut?
Honeynut squash is a type of winter squash that is a hybrid of butternut and buttercup squash! They have a similar shape and outer colour to butternut, but they are so much smaller – these cute little guys will fit comfortably in your hands 🙂
From a flavour standpoint, honeynut is similar to but a little bit sweeter than butternut.
Honeynut also has a deeper coloured flesh and edible skin. This deep orange colour is reflected in honeynut’s nutrition profile – it’s known to be about 2-3 times higher in beta-carotene compared to butternut squash. Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A and a powerful antioxidant!
Where do you buy honeynut squash? When is it in season?
You can find honeynut squash in many grocery stores, such as Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, or your local farmer’s market.
They’re typically only available for a very short time (unlike butternut, which you can usually find year-round). Honeynut season is late September to early October – so if you spot them, be sure to grab them!!
Do you have to peel honeynut squash? Can you eat the skin?
There is no need to peel honeynut squash before cooking. I love simply slicing the squash in half and scooping out the seeds – the prep work is SO much faster than cooking with butternut!
The skin is thin enough to be edible. If preferred, it is easily removed after roasting – I find the roasted flesh scoops right out.
About the ingredients
- Honeynut squash: As described above, honeynut squashes look like mini butternut squash. You can find them at many grocery stores or farmer’s markets during their short season (end of September to October). If you can’t find honeynut, you can make this with butternut BUT I would recommend peeling the squash and cooking it as cubes rather than halving the squash as I do here. Simply toss the cubes in the same seasonings and roast!
- Olive oil: I used olive oil to brush on top of the squash face, to help cook the squash and allow the seasonings to stick. If preferred, you could also try this with another neutral-flavoured oil (like avocado oil) or even melted butter.
- Thyme: I used dried thyme for this recipe, but you are welcome to use fresh (or add it as a pretty garnish, if serving at a dinner party!)
- Rosemary: I used dried rosemary for this as well, but you could try it with fresh.
- Garlic powder: I prefer using garlic powder rather than garlic cloves, as it tops the entire surface of the squash nicely. That said, it would probably work with finely minced cloves as well!
- Parmesan: I used freshly grated parmiggiano-regianno for this recipe. It has the best flavour and is worth the extra cost! For a vegan/dairy-free version, you are welcome to omit the parmesan OR use your favourite dairy-free replacement.
Full ingredient measurements and detailed instructions are located in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post!
Visual guide: how to roast honeynut squash
Start by slicing the honeynut squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard.
Place the squash, face side up, in a baking dish or on a baking sheet. Brush the face with olive oil and sprinkle seasonings overtop.
Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake for approximately 30-35 minutes, until the squash is lightly browned and tender. Remove from the oven and enjoy hot!
What to serve this recipe with
Honeynut squash is a starchy, fiber-rich vegetable. To round out the meal, I recommend serving this recipe with a cozy protein dish and some non-starchy veggies!
For proteins, think something nourishing like:
- chicken or turkey (this would be great as a holiday side dish)
- baked salmon
- sautéed shrimp
- baked tofu
For non-starchy veggies, I’m thinking:
- a simple massaged kale salad
- some sautéed leafy greens, like kale, spinach, or swiss chard
- roasted broccolini or roasted zucchini
TIP: since you already have the oven on, you may want to make your proteins and/or non-starchy veggies in the oven at the same time 😉
More winter squash recipes
- Kale Butternut Squash Breakfast Hash
- Quinoa Stuffed Delicata Squash With Kale
- Cheesy Butternut Squash Rice Bowl
- Roasted Butternut Squash & Pear Soup
- Baked Spaghetti Squash With Tomato Sauce
Did you give this Roasted Honeynut Squash Recipe a try? Let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below!
If you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or Pinterest – seeing your creations always makes my day. You can also subscribe to my email list to never miss a new recipe or nutrition education post!
Get the Recipe: Roasted Honeynut Squash (Simple, Savory Recipe)
- PREP: Preheat oven to 400F. Using a large chef's knife, slice each honeynut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and flesh with a spoon.
- Place the squash, face side up, in a baking dish or on a lined baking sheet. Brush the face of the squash with olive oil.
- Sprinkle the garlic powder, thyme, and rosemary overtop of each squash, coating evenly. Top with HALF of the grated parmesan, then season generously with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake for approximately 35 minutes, or until the squash is lightly browned and tender all the way through.
- Remove squash from the oven and top with the remainder of the parmesan. Serve and enjoy hot!
- You can use fresh thyme and/or rosemary here if preferred, OR as a pretty garnish!
- I like the way garlic powder evenly covers the surface of the squash, but you can likely do this with finely minced garlic cloves (about 2).
- For a vegan/dairy-free version, you are welcome to omit the parmesan OR use your favourite dairy-free replacement.
As a dietitian, I create recipes with whole food ingredients that provide the nutrients needed for optimal health. My nutrition philosophy does not focus on numbers; however, I understand that this information can be helpful.
Do note that the nutrition info provided is an estimate and I cannot guarantee correctness of the displayed values. These numbers will differ depending on brands used, recipe modifications, and amount eaten. If you require specific nutrition information due to medical reasons, please consult with your dietitian or physician.